With or without the specter of the ongoing writers strike, 2007 will be remembered as an unpredictable year in Oscar history.
The tides have shifted within the Academy, and films that once would have been considered shoe-ins (Atonement, Charlie Wilson's War) might now find themselves on the outside looking in come nomination morning this Tuesday. On the other hand, edgier and darker fare (like No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, even Juno) are now the front-runners. And in the end, perhaps that is a good thing.
However, it doesn't make it easy for those of us who attempt to predict who and what has caught the Academy's fancy in any given year. So it is with deft caution that I reveal the Movie Dearest Fearless Oscar Nomination Predictions for 2007:
- Best Picture: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood.
- Best Actor: George Clooney (Michael Clayton), Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood), Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd), Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) and Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises).
- Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Julie Christie (Away from Her), Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose), Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart) and Ellen Page (Juno).
- Best Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James), Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War), Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild) and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton).
- Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There), Catherine Keener (Into the Wild), Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone), Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) and Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton).
- Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood), Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men), Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), Sean Penn (Into the Wild) and Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly).
- Best Adapted Screenplay: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Into the Wild, No Country for Old Men, Persepolis and There Will Be Blood.
- Best Original Screenplay: Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, Michael Clayton, Ratatouille and The Savages.
- Cinematography: The Assassination of Jesse James; The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Lust, Caution; No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood.
- Art Direction/Set Decoration: Atonement, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Sweeney Todd and There Will Be Blood.
- Costume Design: Atonement, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Hairspray, La Vie en Rose and Sweeney Todd.
- Original Score: Atonement; The Kite Runner; Lust, Caution; Ratatouille and There Will Be Blood.
- Original Song: "Come So Far (Got So Far to Go)" from Hairspray, "Do You Feel Me" from American Gangster, "Falling Slowly" from Once, "Guaranteed" from Into the Wild and "That's How You Know" from Enchanted.
- Film Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood and 3:10 to Yuma.
- Sound Mixing: The Bourne Ultimatum, Hairspray, No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd and 300.
- Animated Feature: Persepolis, Ratatouille and The Simpsons Movie.
- Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, 300 and Transformers.
- Sound Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum, No Country for Old Men, 3:10 to Yuma, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Transformers.
- Make-Up: La Vie en Rose, Norbit and Sweeney Todd.
- Foreign Language Film: The Counterfeiters (Austria), The Trap (Serbia), 12 (Russia), The Unknown Woman (Italy) and The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (Brazil).
- Documentary Feature: Autism: The Musical, Body of War, For the Bible Tells Me So, No End in Sight and Sicko.
Those last two categories were selected by using my patented "dart and dartboard" method. I would have used it on the short subject categories, but I have no idea what is eligible, so ... there you go. We'll see how well I did come Tuesday morning.
Plus: Be sure to check out the extensive 2007 For Your Consideration gallery at Awards Daily and, if you've ever wondered just how the Oscar nominations are tabulated, Entertainment Weekly has a good rundown of how it is done (it's not as simple as you may think).
And finally: Click here to order the official poster of the 80th Annual Academy Awards, pictured above.
UPDATE: Fearlessly predicted correctly: 68 out of 99 total nominations, roughly 69% accurate.